Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Liquid Forms - New Routes And Broken Bones

Plasticman (Grade not really known - quite bold)
This is pretty much where it's at, at the moment. Big moves between poor holds can give you the feeling of flying and if you get it wrong, you can be really flying. The Pex Wall at Maiden's Bluff is gradually getting worked out, but not without interest. I got right up to the top today on the unclimbed 'Flake Project' - named so because it starts up a short flake. Entering the crux, with a good few metres of air below me, I doubted myself, just for a second. It was enough to make me stuck mid-crux, I quickly decided to try and jump and ended up lowering my weight down the slab until I was hurtling towards the massive pad stack. Even with 8 pads, the ankles weren't saved and it was fairly painful.

After a two minute rest I decided that it was only going to get more painful as the day went on and that I really wanted to climb this route. So I set off again, with some agonising moments low down trying to twist my ankle. Before I knew it, I was back at the top and ready for the crux. Pirouetting on my toes, the warm ache turned pretty sharp and it was probably the fear of landing on it again that pushed me on to dyno for the top. Perhaps the stupidest ascent to date, but it seemed to work. I really hope this gets better soon!
The warm up at Pex Wall, Maidens Bluff from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

We didn't let this dampen our day though. Dave made fast work of Archaeopteryx and then also added a new E5 on the left wall. I really want to get someone on Aerchy onsight, just to see if it's possible. It's just so blind to read.

I used my (broken?) ankle as an excuse to do a lot of cleaning and have a look at the megadeath arete. It's so outrageous, so bold, so ludicrous - O MY GOD! I mean really. With a couple of OK wires, or more trustworthy holds, or secure climbing, this could be an H8 or 9 or something. As it is, it's English 6c/7a, ludicrously wild and dynamic, smeary and all of this above a terrible fall. The flake that I thought would never hold a fall came off in my hands today, to leave utterly no gear. It's New Wave for sure. Total death. A brilliant place to be though!

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